Jeff Weiss recently turned my attention to a track by French production team The Funk League1 called “Through Good and Bad”2Â which features Large Professor. Weiss praises the song as a “tasteful” and generative recreation of ’90s boom-bap that rises above the flood of self-proclaimed throwback artists that feebly mimic the old greats. It is the musical details such as the booming drums and the decision to feature an iconic rapper/producer that grant this song its rightful place among contemporary, more progressive efforts. I agree, but I feel that the song’s most arresting characteristic is the particularity of Large Professor’s raps. His narrative of an intensely passionate, probably co-dependent, unpredictable, but ultimately memorable and worthwhile relationship3 Â is infused with strange minute details and represents a genuine progression in his writing style.
Download: Main Source “Looking At The Front Door”
Main Source’s “Looking At The Front Door”4 is a working class pride anthem that contains an admission of Â vulnerability, sensibly related by a man who realizes that his relationship with a bourgeois ball-breaker is a toxic arrangement. “Through Good and Bad” is a different beast. Instead of vague complaints like “we fight every night” we are given a front row seat to an harriedÂ everyman’sÂ ratiocination. The narrator describes his annoyance with his girlfriend’s tendency to turn an argument over money matters into a “heart wrenching/ story about her childhood.” He tunes her out and drifts off to memories of better times but his anger inspires him to break a mirror with his fists, an act which segues inexplicably into a hate-fuck.
The next morning the couple is back to quarreling and the narrator craves for a ray of clarity. He reasons that an escape through self-destructive behavior or simply dissolving the union is not an option, but it takes her exclamation of love to get his mind right. Reminded of her devotion and warmth, his prideful logic gives way to the essential connection he feels to his mate. The third verse is his meticulous promise to allow intimacy, trust, and fidelity to move the relationship forward. A hopeful future is guaranteed by a mutual commitment Â to work through differences: “I’m learing her/ and she’s learning me.” Such succinct yet realistic exposition is difficult to shape into a standard three verse song, but Large Professor was never short on talent or insight. — Thun
- More information can be found at their MySpace page. [↩]
- Read here; I like Weiss’ characterization of The Funk League as time-traveling flaneurs observing, decoding, and recreating the sounds of a 90s Brooklyn block party. [↩]
- If this is in fact yet another song that personifies rap music as a woman, it is done with taste and subtlety. [↩]
- From their 1991 classic Breaking Atoms. [↩]